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Reflections 1

As we approach the two-and-a-half year mark since the inception of Straits Heritage Labs (SHL), I find myself reflecting on our journey and contemplating the path that lies ahead. Your dedication to the cause of helping neurodivergent kids, especially those with autism, has been truly inspiring, and I believe it is essential that we discuss our thoughts and plans for the future.


Over the past year, we have worked tirelessly to organize exhibitions and art competitions, aiming to create awareness and support for the neurodivergent community.


However, as we evaluate our progress, I must admit that we have encountered challenges that have left us uncertain about the impact we can truly achieve. Without being directly involved in the field and unable to commit fully to daily meetups and strategizing, it has been difficult to gauge the tangible outcomes of our efforts.


Recently, during the start of 2023, Eddie and I had a candid conversation with Professor Goh regarding the future of SHL. We contemplated whether it was time to reconsider our mission, considering the differences in our life stages and primary responsibilities. Nevertheless, the encounter with Hao Wen and his family, particularly his devoted caregiver, Aunty Lam, deeply moved us. It reinforced the importance of our cause and the significant impact we could potentially have on the lives of these children and their families.


The critical questions we now face are: "What direction should we take moving forward?" and "How can we ensure the sustainability of SHL?". We have been organizing art exhibitions and events, but we must find a more stable source of revenue to ensure our long-term viability. Additionally, we must consider the potential for SHL to influence social services and policies related to neurodivergent children in Malaysia. While this may be an ambitious goal, it is not unattainable. The challenge lies in figuring out where and how to start.


I believe that our core passion and the fundamental principles behind SHL remain unchanged. Our desire to make a positive impact on the lives of these children remains the driving force behind our efforts. To move forward, we need to explore new avenues of collaboration, outreach, and fundraising. This may involve partnering with other organizations, seeking support from individuals and businesses who share our vision, and engaging with local communities to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and challenges.


Moreover, we should explore the possibility of engaging policymakers and experts in the field to discuss how SHL's initiatives can shape and improve social services for neurodivergent children in Malaysia. Advocating for change and policy impact may require a carefully crafted strategy and collaboration with other stakeholders in the community.


As we reflect on the journey so far and ponder our future, may the grace of the Lord be with us.


21/07/23

Janelle

Sydney


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